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Full text of "A few memories"

CHAPTER XI
ACTORS and orators have pre-eminently the power of discovering the characteristics of any audience they address; playing upon their hearers as a musician plays upon an instrument, touching the chords of their deepest sympathy and enthusiasm. I observed that the English provincial audiences, either through timidity or self-consciousness, laughed and wept in a very conservative manner. Between the large manufacturing towns of England and those of the United States there was a marked similarity in the theatre-going public. The Irish audiences, on the contrary, gave full and often reckless rein to their emotions, interrupting any point that pleased them before it was completed, and cheering until one feared for their throats. Nor was this all; for after the most violent transports during the play they invariably had energy enough left to sing between the acts, and applaud that impromptu entertainment. Yet with all their indiscrimination how one grew toure's charms, and see  her stores unrolled." Shakespeare's Mother's Hair Red?" etc.